Dres­den boosts se­cu­rity af­ter mosque at­tack

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD - By REUTERS in Dres­den, Germany

Ger­man po­lice are step­ping up pro­tec­tion ofMus­lim in­sti­tu­tions in Dres­den af­ter two im­pro­vised bombs ex­ploded in the east­ern city on Mon­day evening, one at a mosque and one at an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence cen­ter.

No one was hurt by the blasts although the imam of the mosque was in­side the build­ing with his wife and sons.

“Even if we so far have no claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity, we­must go on the ba­sis that the mo­tive was xeno­pho­bic,” Horst Kret­zschmar, pres­i­dent of Dres­den po­lice, said in a state­ment.

He said po­lice be­lieved there was a link to cel­e­bra­tions planned for the com­ing week­end in the city to mark the an­niver­sary of Ger­man re­uni­fi­ca­tion on Oct 3, 1990.

Kret­zschmar said three mosques, aMus­lim so­cial cen­ter and a prayer room would be given pro­tec­tion im­me­di­ately.

Soon af­ter the mosque ex­plo­sion, Dres­den’s In­ter­na­tional Congress Cen­ter was also dam­aged by a home­made de­vice and the bar of a nearby ho­tel was evac­u­ated.

Mehmet Demir­bas, founder of the mosque that was hit, said the Mus­lim com­mu­nity had been ex­pect­ing some kind of at­tack for a long time.

“Glass panes have been bro­ken in the past, or graf­fiti on the wall. But this is the first time some­thing like this hap­pens. Hope­fully it will be the last time and we carry on hap­pily liv­ing in Dres­den,” he said.

Dres­den was the cra­dle of the anti-Is­lam grass­roots move­ment whose weekly ral­lies at­tracted around 20,000 sup­port­ers at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity at the start of 2015.

The in­flux of about 1 mil­lion mi­grants, mostly Mus­lims, to Germany last year has in­creased so­cial ten­sions, es­pe­cially in east­ern Germany where there have been some high-pro­file at­tacks on refugee shel­ters.

Sup­port for the Al­ter­na­tive for Germany party, which says Is­lam is not com­pat­i­ble with the con­sti­tu­tion, has risen due to Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s open-door refugee pol­icy.

AfD co-leader Frauke Petry con­demned the at­tack on the mosque, say­ing: “At­tack­ing a build­ing in which peo­ple wor­ship God is bar­baric, whether it be a church, a mosque or a syn­a­gogue.”

Ger­man Fi­nance Minister Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble stressed at an an­nual con­fer­ence on Is­lam on Tues­day that Is­lam be­longed to Germany, re­peat­ing a view that Merkel voiced in 2015 ahead of a anti-Is­lam demon­stra­tion in Dres­den.

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